Monday, January 15, 2007

I Feel It in the Air, The Summer's Out of Reach

I know not everyone was happy about it, but it finally snowed on Sunday night - not a lot, but enough that we could play in it. I didn't get to go sledding, though Coadster went with her best friend and got snow all over the kitchen which, in turn, melted and soaked though our socks anytime we foraged for food.

I did go out and take a bunch of pictures, though. I wanted to make up for the hideous photo I posted yesterday, and I think winter looks so much better with a layer of frosting on it.

I made a point to finally get a few shots for Booda Baby . She asked a couple of months ago for pictures of the Black Angel, for one thing. Here she is in the snow. I hope you don't mind the sepia tone, but I think it makes her look even creepier than normal and from what I understand, creepiness is the Black Angel's whole, entire point of existence.

Booda baby also asked for a photo of the stone cottages on Court and Muscatine Streets. They are kind of tough to photograph, because there are lots of fences, bushes and trellises to contend with. (probably to keep invasive losers like me away) I got a shot of my favorite one anyway.

Then I also took a really pretentious one where I focused all my attention on these little snow-clad purple berries and put the blur on the quaint stone cottage with the red door. Annoying, I admit, but I've become just this deeply complex by being both pretentious and annoying.

For myself, I drove a little ways out of town. Fortunately, in Iowa City you don't have to go too far to run into a pastoral setting. So, I found me a falling apart barn with political statements tacked onto it - probably my favorite combination.

And then I came upon some cattle. They were very suspicious of me. What? Had they never seen a crazy old white woman with a camera in the middle of a snowstorm before?

After they got over their initial distrust, the cows just looked cold and uncomfortable. I was feeling the same way, and a couple of motorists had already pulled over to see if my car was stuck, (Iowan's are always so goddamn helpful like that) so I decided to head for home and get a run in before sunset.


Bice said...

Great photos, even the pretentious one.

Loved the black angel and red door the most.

Remiman said...

"I think winter looks so much better with a layer of frosting on it." That's exactly I I feel.
We got about 3" yesterday. Amazing how high my spirits soar in a snow storm.
Don't ya just love digital cameras?

Lynnster said...

Is that the famous black angel with the legend about red eyes appearing in the face at night or whatever?

Or maybe that's another black angel elsewhere, but I know that one's in the Midwest somewhere, I've read about it...

Matt said...

I remember walking up on the angel with some friends and a head full of blotter. Someone had painted glow in the dark paint in the eyes. With our amp'd up imaginations we were able to freak ourselves out pretty good.

She looks very placid and forlorn in the snow. I guess that's the intended effect? Or is it comfort and solace?

Shaymus O'flatulence's Blog said...

love the close up 20 years after pic...pity you couldnt get the cows in that one too :)

Margaret said...

be careful photographing distrustful livestock! those cows look kind of pissed to see you

booda baby said...

ohmy gosh, those make me giddy. I'm going to look at them all day long. Great shots PLUS (can you believe it?!) A PLUS!! SNOW shots.

It's really the perfect photographic record of IC.

It seems unlikely, coming on the tail of the Joan Jett tale, but these photos took me straight to some of my best best memories (and I think there was a little of that magic, glittery stuff that sweeps across movie screens. I like that stuff.)

Thanks, churlita.

EEK said...

What's the story behind the black angel? I'm dying to know.

You're such a talented photographer. Please note that as a ridiculously pretentious person, I love pretentious photos. Keep 'em coming.

Churlita said...


Thanks. I know you weren't all that happy about the snow, but isn't it pretty?


I love snow and digital cameras. Yesterday was perfect - I had the day off, and I got to play.


I'm not sure if red glowing eyes are part of this Black Angel's lore, but she has a lot of other things about her. If you kiss her or touch her, you're supposed to die within the year. I had a friend who kissed when we were in college, and as far as I know, he's still alive.


Luckily, I never went to see her when I was tripping. But I could probably be stone cold sober and freak out if someone had painted her eyes with glow in the dark paint.


Some people may say I already got the cows in that 20th high school reunion pic...


I didn't get too close to the fence. I learned my lesson hanging out at some stables when I was a kid in Arizona. I had an angry cow chase me over a fence once.

Booda Baby,

I'm glad you like them. I hope all these memories I'm taking you back to are good ones.


Thanks. I'm not sure what the whole story is. She is a huge statue brought over from Czechoslavakia in the 1800's, I think. There is much local lore about her power to cause death to all who mess with her and I'm just jealous of her rep. I think my life would be so much easier if people believed that about me.

Killer said...

Super shots. I really like the political barn. I also think those cows looked disturbingly like they were going to attack.

Egan said...

You're one dedicated runner. I like this about you.

Churlita said...


I know. I suppose they get as pissed off as anyone else when someone sticks a camera in their faces.


Thanks. Most people just think I'm crazy.

Egan said...

Well if you're one of those crazy runners with an eating disorder then we'd have to chat. But I think you do it for the true exercise and not because you have body issues.

Churlita said...


I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of an eating disorder. EVER. I'm always after the free high and the meditative benefits. It keeps me off of happy pills for now.

mist1 said...

I like the sepia tone for that photo. Well done.

Bice said...

Yes, I give you that. Prior to cars turning it to brown slush new fallen snow is pretty.

(yhis was a half full kind of comment as opposed to my typical half empty comments)

Egan said...

Phew, I dodged a bullet there. Glad this is the reason. I love the highs you get after exercise. Nothing beats feeling invincible.

Churlita said...


Thanks. I'm kind of partial to sepia tone. I lived in Arizona when I was a kid and all the touristy places took photos of Midwesterners in sepia to make them look like they were in the Wild West. It feels comfortable and familiar to me.


Holy crap. Are you getting all "sister Mary sunshine" on me? It's a good look for you.


I heart endorphins. There is no better high.

Brando said...

That's a killer (pun somewhat intended) photo of the Black Angel. I love all your photos but that one really captures the Angel. Well done.

I can't believe you ran yesterday. I was driving back from my brother's in Madison and bitching about driving in the snow.

Churlita said...


I think it's the sepia tone that makes that photo. I'm glad you liked it.

Your brother lives in Madison too? I love having a free place to stay there.

Running was kind of fun last night. I ran a shorter route and dressed appropriately for it. I didn't run today, because I don't run in below zero temps or windchills anymore.

Lynnster said...

OK... I have heard the part about dying if you kiss or touch the angel before. It's the same one, I'm sure. I think the red eyes part may be a single anecdote about it from one of the many hauntings sites that have written about the angel...

That reminds me, I have a graveyard story from college days to tell I'll have to post one of these days. Except I think I'm going to have to ask my mom if she remembers the details first. (Yeah, I drank A LOT in college...)

Churlita said...


Yes, yes to the graveyard story. If you don't remember all the details, make them up. No one else will know.